About the UWC
The mission of the UWC is to collaborate with writers—whether students, faculty, or staff, from any discipline—to develop writing and rhetorical skills and understandings in order to be effective, confident, and ethically-aware communicators.
Who We Are
The University Writing Center is staffed by both undergraduate and graduate consultants who act as an audience for writing in progress, as well as a director, assistant director, and graduate assistant directors who are trained in rhetoric and writing studies. The UWC also has an Executive Committee made up of student staff and selected each year by the undergraduate and graduate student staff.
The UWC believes that:
- writing is an indispensable part of the intellectual life of the university, both as a means of communication and as a tool for learning.
- learning to write is a lifelong process and that all writers—no matter their skill level or academic, linguistic, and cultural background—benefit from discussing their work with thoughtful readers.
- writing is a skill that can be developed and strengthened over time.
- writing and learning are social processes, and that all of us are learners and teachers expected to learn and change as we interact with differences in perspectives and experiences.
- writing is a process of revision.
- the individual writer’s goals, experiences, and voice should be central to all writing instruction.
- the writers who come to see us are hard-working writers who want to learn and grow as writers, thinkers, and humans.
Goals and Practices
In order to achieve our mission, we:
- offer one-on-one (and group) consultations with undergraduate and graduate peer writing consultants. We tailor our consultations to meet the needs of the writers with whom we work.
- offer workshops on a variety of writing-focused topics.
- maintain the high quality of our services by requiring consultants to undergo rigorous tutor education on a variety of writing-related topics, including the writing process, writing across the disciplines, writing genres, online tutoring, multilingual tutoring, and antiracism.
- assist writers with all aspects of the writing process, such as close reading, notetaking, summarizing, understanding the assignment, using models, posing questions, organizing, developing arguments, working with sources, revising, reverse outlining, editing, and proofreading.
- help writers examine the expectations of particular genres and disciplines and empower them to question these expectations and make deliberate, informed choices in their writing.
- value difference and strive to enable writers to enter new discourse communities while preserving their own voices. We also promote racial and linguistic equity in order to serve all writers by valuing multilingualism.
- collaborate with writers in supportive, nonjudgmental, and encouraging ways to facilitate discovery, pose meaningful questions, wrestle with problems, inspire confidence, and help them advocate for themselves within the larger university community.
The UWC seeks to implement this mission through one-to-one writing consultations—both in-person and online—that are designed to help writers with writing projects at all stages of the composition process. Our work includes help with the following:
- understanding assignment guidelines
- generating ideas (e.g., brainstorming, invention)
- content development
- research strategies and source selection and evaluation
- revision strategies
- citation and documentation
- sentence structure and technical errors
- page design
- feedback on all kinds of print-based writing, including research papers, grant proposals, conference papers, book reviews, scientific reports, theses and dissertations, and application materials (personal statements, resumés, and cover letters), to name a few
- feedback on digital, visual, and multimodal compositions, including audio and video essays, posters, brochures, flyers, and websites
The UWC also endeavors to support and supplement the instruction of writing at Baylor and to encourage the practice and appreciation of good writing and thinking on the BU campus. As such, we design class presentations and conduct workshops on a variety of writing topics to meet specific needs of BU students, faculty, and individual courses. Ultimately, the UWC is a place for dialogue, for generative collaboration that brings writers and tutors into conversations that can, and do, change both participants and their writing.